Once you tell us what we need we can dispose of you and all this will end. Until then, we own you and will do with you as we see fit. You are an object now. You are a receptacle for knowledge that we will wring out of you. That process will be easier if you co-operate. You ceased to be a human being when you betrayed your species and your Emperor, the only way out for you is death. I can make it quick but those who come after me will not be so generous.
— Inquisitor Nyxos of the Ordo Malleus, Warhammer 40,000
Good morning. Now, before we begin your interrogation, I'll need some information. Do you have any allergies or illnesses that I should know about? Are you currently taking any medication? Had any trouble with your heart? You'll answer my questions when they are asked. Resistance will be punished. Cooperation will be rewarded.
— Babylon 5, Intersections in Real Time
It is not uncommon to see patients undergo permanent psychological trauma in the presence of the Sphere, before the nerve stapler has even been strapped into position. Its effect on the general consciousness of the culture is profound: husbands have seen wives go inside, and mothers their children. Dr. Xynan left the surface of the sphere semitranslucent for a reason. You can hear them in there; you can see them. It is a thing of terrible beauty.
— Baron Klim, "The Music of the Spheres", from Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri
Heinz spoke briskly, with the pleasure of a man who likes to explain what he does. "It's quite simple, really, a modification of the device neurologists use to administer electric shocks to people suffering unipolar neurosis. Only this administers a far more powerful jolt. The pain is really secondary, I find. Most people don't even remember the pain. What makes them so eager to talk is an aversion to the process. This might almost be called an atavism. Someday I hope to write a paper."
— Stephen King, "In the Deathroom"
Tick was a kind man. He was a supremely innocent person, one who had no business associating with the mafia. But he had one talent: He was very, very good at hurting and torturing people.
Colonel DeHaans: We have a long, winding road of hurt before us, and no choice but to walk it barefoot. These seventy-two mercenaries may be hardened killers with heads full of evil secrets, but they're also living, breathing people with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. For now, anyway.
Over the next thirteen days, you will transform each of these unique sophonts into a quivering bundle of over-stimulated nerve tissue, at the same time bruising your own feet on the stones of "this hurts me more than it hurts you." You will empathize. You will care. You will hate yourself for sharpening your empathy and care into surgical instruments, for excising the tumors of treason and treachery. You will weep as intellects are distilled into intel, and your patients reduced to soulless, mostly-organic husks. You will see yourselves through their emptied eyes as monsters. And in those darkest introspective moments you will despise yourselves because you will know with a certainty that you enjoy your work.
I offer no solace. There is no redemption. We... All of us, we are the damned.
Colonel DeHaans: So... Let's go have some fun!
"Gentleman, torture as a political instrument is no longer the crude and brutal extraction of information from one's enemies. It has become a subtle and sophisticated specialty."
— Dr Clement Molloch, The Evil That Men Do.
"'Torture' is such an inelegant word. I'm an artist. Their testicles are my canvas."
— Revolver Ocelot, The Last Days of Foxhound
"You know, I never understood all these elaborate tortures. It's the simplest thing... to cause more pain than a man can possibly endure.... And of course, it's not only the immediate agony, but the knowledge... that if you do not yield soon enough... there will be little left to identify you as a man. The only question remains: will you yield, in time?"
— LeChiffre, Casino Royale
"Unlike some other houses, my ancestors earned the Bolton words: "Our Blades Are Sharp." They passed down not a Valyrian greatsword, but a knife, honed and thin enough to fit between the topmost layer of skin and the tissue below... and peel. For as we all learned as children, "A naked man has few secrets, a flayed man none."
— Roose Bolton, Game of Thrones: History and Lore